Saturday, April 29, 2006

B is for Becoming

Well, back to work, and wouldn't you know it, half the week has passed already. That's one thing I can say for my work: it certainly passes the time. And lord knows, we've got plenty of time on those long 14-16 hour workdays.

So, the contract arbitration came down, finally...we're getting 10% all told. Sweeeeeet. That is a major, insane amount of bonus considering how we've been fu-barred over the years, as I hear it from the elders at work. So, what's my new pay scale going to be like? $124 each payday before taxes. Uh huh, yeah, I think that's nice too. That's wedding and yarn fodder. Then add in time-and-a-half to double time each month, and man, it's good to be tha comm spec!

We got to play with the fire things today at inservice. It was so much fun! We put all these fires out (fully supervised by observant, well-trained, very funny firefighters), we used fire extinguishers, a real hoseline, walked around in a house full of fake-smoke (okay, think about when you fumble for the bathroom at night without lights- then add in SMOKE. It's damn near impossible in daylight!). After that, we put more fire out, walked up the 6-floor training tower (I carried an air tank bottle! Yay for exercise!) and then sledgehammered the shit out of a FREAKING HEAVY piece of space-age metal that wouldn't move if the war of the worlds UFO's were shooting lasers at it. I finally got it to the end :) I like proving that I'm useful in situations people wouldn't think of me as being good at. Plus, I got to wear a neat helmet (that was hard to put on, I put it on wrong twice!), and big gloves (one gal mentioned how nice they'd be for ovens) and the turnout coats. I felt like a little midget in it, but it was fun.

There was a lengthy talk about a special-forces firefighting team (by a cute team leader, to boot), but it was interesting. I started making associations about what he was talking about, trying to put in all I'm learning for dispatch into perspective. Then, like a minute later, he'd start talking about that very same thing. Now I'm not psychic, and I'm sure that there's a lot of seasoned dispatchers that could be making those associations, but I was pleased I did.

Tim also praised me for learning lots of things out of the manual. (The second time this week that someone's told me how much they admire my tenacity for filling out and reading manuals!) I think it took him by suprise when I was asking about the engines and trucks and moveups for certain types of calls. (They were talking about an aircraft crash for example, and I was thinking, oh shit, that's like half of town that gets called out, not to mention the tones and the tacs...) So often our computer system makes those recommendations for us and we don't think about them. Plus, you know, I'm supposed to be on the "oh shit, what's that thing called again? Oh yeah, an engine!" mode. It'll come on the radio when I'm like, "Engine one for.....uh...a fire! *breath* at blah blah.....(long pause, then) where's it at... Map page 23a, 2104" *click of air really quick* Computer systems aren't perfect, and there's a lot that can go wrong in ours (System that doesn't go down my ass!) But if there is material that's been covered in the manual, I don't want to be getting that test question wrong! I like being smart, I like being right, and I like being good at what I do. Plus, hey, FIRE TRUCKS! They didn't let us drive the truck or ride in it (And the big new fancy ladder truck was there today!) but I'm sure I can get an engine ride-along in sometime. Plus, you know, you kind of have to be a firefighter engineer to do that. Give it time. I'll be manning the back of that sucker, screaming down pearl street like its my fucking job. Oh wait, it kind of is.


Post a Comment

<< Home